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Behind The Photo | Adja: Pixie Of The Tropical Forest



I was living in Waimea on the Big Island at the time. One day the phone rings and it’s a friend of mine from Pahoa, sounding all huffed and agitated.

“Monica! I found you a goddess at Borders in Hilo!”

“Say what?!”

“Yes, I saw her as she was walking out, and stopped her and told her all about you, and got her name and number for you!”

“You did? What for?”

“Well, I think you would love to photograph her. She is at the 8th month, with a beautiful round belly, and she is a goddess!”

Now things were starting to make sense. She knew I was always on the lookout for interesting women to photograph and had seen a beautiful pregnant woman at the Borders’ bookstore in Hilo.




I called Andrena, that was/is the goddess’ name and we arranged to meet at her place in the tropical forest outside Pahoa. It was instant connection with this soon mother-to-be-again, and her ten-year-old girl, Adja. She is the pixie you see in these images. Not only was Adja beautiful and photogenic, but had an ease about her that you do not see often in children, or adults for that matter; a true comfort at being in her own skin. Then there were those eyes that spoke volumes of the old soul inside. I ended up taking more photos of Adja than her mother, though Andrena was/is quite beautiful, too.

This was about… woah! … twelve years ago already! Adja must be in her early twenties by now. I wonder if I would recognize her.

I was in touch with Andrena and Adja for a while, but after I moved to O’ahu, we lost touch. I have been hoping to find either of them on social media, but no luck so far.




I would share with you more photos of Andrena, the Pregnant Goddess, but these are the only ones I have scanned, as these were shot on film. I will have them all scanned, eventually, but that is not a priority right now. The big pile in the living room is. Wink!

I had been doing portraiture for many years, but this turned out to be my first maternity shoot, and it was very much on the fly. The only plan was to meet and maybe do a few test shots, but the moment was perfect and we went with it.



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